Dracula's bride spotted in Peru
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 93 16:09:18 PDT
Subject: Dracula's bride spotted in Peru
Copyright 1993 Reuters, Limited
The Reuter Library Report
June 8, 1993, Tuesday, BC cycle
HEADLINE: PERUVIAN TOWN SETS STAKE ON DRACULA'S ''ENGLISH'' BRIDE
BYLINE: By Juan Javier Zeballos
DATELINE: LIMA, June 8
A town in Peru is in an uproar over a legend that an English woman
buried in the town is a vampire who has vowed to return to life on
Tuesday night to seek revenge.
Windows, doors and chimneys in the town of Pisco, 200 km (125 miles)
south of Lima, have been festooned with garlic.
Street sellers are doing a roaring trade in crucifixes and wooden stakes,
recommended for ''piercing the heart'' of the woman who local newspapers
say is the third bride of Dracula.
Several radio stations have promised live transmission from the tiny
graveyard at midnight and local police have been mobilised to keep order
among hundreds of sightseers arriving in the port city from other parts of
The commotion began when a U.S. Spanish-language television
programme seen here reported the legend.
It said an Englishman called John Roberts arrived by ship in Pisco 80
years ago with a coffin containing the body of his wife. After paying five
pounds to bury her, he disappeared.
The tomb bears the words: ''In Memory of Sarah Ellen, beloved wife of
J.P. Roberts of Blackburn, England. Born March 6, 1872 and died June 9,
A British embassy spokesman told Reuters the woman had died in
Blackburn, but had not been allowed to be buried there and her husband
had left England seeking a resting place for her.
''The people of Blackburn were afraid to let her body be buried there,
but I don't know why,'' he said.
The U.S. programme said Sarah Ellen was one of three brides of Dracula.
The other two were buried in Mexico and Panama, it said.
Peru's Expresso newspaper said the woman had been sentenced to
death for murder and witchcraft and had been buried alive in a lead-lined
coffin to avoid her escape.
''Before she was placed in the coffin, she swore to avenge herself in 80
years,'' the newspaper said.
Local journalists have asked for the body to be disinterred to prevent
the rumours. The request was denied.
Not everybody is upset about the commotion, however.
Apart from the stakes, street vendors in the main square of Pisco have
begun selling t-shirts and key rings carrying the picture of a vampire, and
small bags carrying a crucifix and cloves of garlic to wear round the neck,
The mayor of Pisco has also called a news conference to take advantage
of the number of national and international journalists in town.
© 1993 Peter Langston